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June 2012

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May 19, 2012

I am responding to an article that is directly about me personally:

In his article, Mr. Gunderson simply talked past the very simple points I was making in my article about Norway and terrorism. I was trying to explain that by supporting terrorist groups and by making their efforts seem politically successful, a country like Norway was making terrorism seem to be a more effective and profitable tactic thus raising the likelihood that it would be used against itself and its citizens.

I would have thought that Foreign Service Officers would very much want to make this very point in talking to governments and societies around the world, especially given the experience of September 11 and other attacks. Mr. Gunderson seems to consider that saying Norwegians are nice people who do lots of good things is a response to my points. I agree that this claim is true but I don’t think it is the least bit relevant.


Since I wrote the article there have been two interesting developments that undermine Mr. Gunderson’s response. First, in his trial, Breivik has spoken a great deal about how he was influenced by various Middle Eastern terrorist groups' actions and their apparent successes. That was not, of course, the only influence but it does demonstrate my point, proving my assertion to have been factually correct.


Second, we can see in certain U.S. State Department dispatches since made public that American representatives in Sweden were very much aware of and displeased with the Norwegian government’s favorable policies toward Middle Eastern terrorist groups and, incidentally, spoke of the alarmingly high levels of antisemitism in Norwegian official and elite circles.


The idea that countries victimized by terrorism should want to combat terrorism universally and that giving terrorist groups political successes encourages the use of that tactic should not be controversial. If it is controversial than that is a very big problem indeed


Barry Rubin


Professor Barry Rubin, Director, Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center http://www.gloria-center.org
The Rubin Report blog http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/
He is a featured columnist at PJM http://pajamasmedia.com/barryrubin/.
Editor, Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal http://www.gloria-center.org
Editor Turkish Studies,http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=t713636933%22

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